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ICO Galileo Galilei Award 2016

Galileo Galilei Award 2016 awarded to Guillermo H. Kaufmann


Guillermo H. Kaufmann received his DSc degree in physics in 1978 from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is Professor at the Physics Department of the Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Chief Scientist of the Argentinean National Council for Scientific and Technical Research, and Head of the Optical Metrology Laboratory at the Instituto de Física Rosario. During the last eight years he served as the director of the French Argentine International Centre of Information and Systems Sciences.

Prof. Kaufmann has been awarded the ICO Galileo Galilei Award 2016 "For the development of novel speckle interferometry techniques and their application in experimental mechanics, materials technology and nondestructive testing.”

He was a post-doc at the National Physical Laboratory, UK, in 1978 and at the University of Michigan, USA, in 1984. He has been visiting researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology at Lausanne in 1989 and at the University of Cambridge in 1990. Since 1992 he has performed several research stays at Loughborough University, UK.  In 1993 he obtained a research award from the government of Japan to visit the Mechanical Engineering Laboratory in Tsukuba. In 1995, 1997 and 1999 he has also worked at the Centro de Investigaciones en Optica, México. Prof. Kaufmann has edited two books, and has authored three book chapters and more than 170 scientific papers published in refereed journals and proceedings of international conferences. His major research interests include the development of coherent optics techniques for strain analysis and nondestructive testing, speckle metrology, phase shifting interferometry, fringe analysis and digital image processing. He has served as member of the program committee of the most important international conferences on optical metrology, speckle techniques and optical inspection. He was the coordinator of the Optics Division of the Asociación Física Argentina and the Argentine representative to the International Commission for Optics. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Optics and Lasers in Engineering, and was a member of the Editorial Board of Optics & Photonics News and a topical editor of Applied Optics. He was a member of the Committee of External Evaluation of Centro de Investigaciones en Optica, Mexico. He is a fellow of SPIE and the Optical Society of America. In 2003 the Secretary of Science and Technology of Argentina awarded him the Bernardo Houssay Prize for his contributions in the field of optical engineering. He is the recipient of the 2015 Chandra S. Vikram Award for Optical Metrology awarded by SPIE.

During the last decade his most important contributions have been carried out in the field of digital speckle pattern interferometry (DSPI). He developed a technique which allows to enhance the visibility of addition DSPI fringes that are obtained when high-speed phenomena are analyzed with pulsed lasers. He has also extensively tested different digital processing techniques to reduce the speckle noise contained in DSPI fringes. For the comparison of different noise reduction methods, he introduced a computer-simulation method which allows to generate speckle patterns showing the expected negative exponential curve of the probability density function of the intensity distribution. This computer model the generation of the corresponding noise-free patterns used to assess the performance of different noise reduction algorithms. He also introduced the use of wavelet-based methods to reduce the speckle noise contained by DSPI fringes and showed the advantages of this new approach.

He has participated in the development of a novel speckle interferometer designed for studying dynamic events in which phase shifting is performed at a frequency of 1 kHz. This system allows to follow the evolution of the phase as a function of time at a speed of 1000 frames/s. The temporal phase unwrapping method used in this dynamic speckle interferometer permits sequences of several hundred absolute displacements maps to be obtained fully automatically. As temporal phase unwrapping is a 1-D problem, this approach eliminates most of the complex problems encountered with 2-D spatial phase unwrapping. In subsequent publications, he reported on the effect of this speckle dynamic system under mechanical vibrations and also studied the performance of different phase shifting algorithms to reduce the phase error introduced by the vibrations. He also used this speckle interferometry system for the detection and measurement of sub-surface delamination defects in carbon fibre specimens.